Earlier today Phandroid seemed to have off-contract pricing information on the upcoming T-Mobile Samsung Vibrant – the T-Mobile variant of the Samsung Galaxy S – as $329 without contract. Sounds great right? Well, that was taken down from the T-Mobile site promptly – turns out the actual off-contract pricing is set at $450.
T-Mobile contacted Phandroid and informed them that the actual off-contract price of the device was $450. The pricing makes sense. It would not be so smart for Magenta to have priced the device at such a low price, as that would encourage people to just buy the device outright and not get on a contract (the more lucrative option for any carrier). T-Mobile, the 4th largest carrier in the US needs all of the customers it can get, whether its on or off contract, but contracts are what make you stay with the carrier. As such, T-Mobile would like to wrangle you into paying them for two years of your life, as does every other carrier.
The $49 pricing applies to the Even More Plus plan T-Mobile offers, which is a contract free plan that offers the option to pay for your no-contract phone in installments – think of it as smartphone financing. I’ve been on this plan since it was debuted late last year, and the option to finance a phone is really convenient. Paying $20 extra dollars per month for a MyTouch 3G (that I never use, but still a decent back up) is no problem in my book. It gives the customer the option to leave T-Mobile, but would still have to pay the remainder of the financed device. I’d expect this option to be available for the Vibrant as well when it comes to this specific plan, but the monthly payment price is not yet known. In the picture below, it states that you can pay for the device over time for as little as $16.50 a month, but since it was taken down, the price could be higher.
After being in contracts for so long, and wanting a different phone almost every other month, I started buying smartphones unlocked or at full no-contract prices. I can leave any carrier of my own accord, and I can take my phone with me (to AT&T…..). $450 for a phone is not bad, especially for a Samsung Galaxy S. And, there’s no doubt that the T-Mobile Samsung Vibrant will be the best Android phone T-Mobile has ever put in their line up.
I was planning on getting this device, but now I think I’m going to wait another six months until we start seeing some Gingerbread devices hitting market. Anyone else out there thinking the same thing?